Photo © African Forest Forum

Tree planting in Kenya has for years been a rite of passage to adulthood for boys or a way to pass time for some as they wait to land their ideal job.

But for Marion Otema, a student at Strathmore University, Josephine Wughanga, an agro-forestry graduate, and Collins Towet it is their way of making a living.

They are among the 2,700 “conservation army” of youth across Africa who through financial and training aid from the State and non-state actors have been planting trees in the continent.

Through Panda Miti Initiative, they planted about a million trees in schools, public lands, and private firms.

“Kenyans need training on which trees are suitable where. We had to uproot so many trees we had planted at Mau Forest because they couldn’t survive. We didn’t know that,” said Otema.

Otema and her team have come up with creative ways to train locals on the importance of planting trees. They use art and craft, storytelling, and mentorships programmes.

Africa Forest Forum (AFF) held a training in Voi, Taita Taveta County for the youth on tree planting and said Kenya and other African countries had a “conservation army’ of youth keen to combat the effects of climate change.

Read more: Youth turn to planting trees as income venture – The Standard (